La Experiencia de Mery Buda

Tatuajes, cómic y Música por María Bustamante Tejeda

Spencer, Amy. DIY

Spencer, A. (2016) DIY: The rise of Lo-Fi culture [Versión para lector digital]. Marion Boyars Publishers

In the 1970s, following the emergence of punk, those punks that were gay felt dissatisfied with the options of either participating in the hardcore punk scene or the mainstream gay scene. Neither scene was willing to accept them fully: they could either be queer in the punk scene or punk in the queer scene. As many individuals identified with both scenes, they realized they would need to create their own new and radical scene to challeng

“How important are zines as a means of communication within the queercore scene? ‘Zines were, obviously, a significant instigating factor in the formation of many movements and subcultures, from the dadaists of the 1930s, to the punks and on up to the queercore scene. It’s been an important first step, resulting in performances happening and bands forming, along with films and videos and other means of communication necessary for a movement’s materialization.” (Spencer;65)

“Zines are non-commercial, small-circulation publications which are produced and distributed by their creators. Generally the zine writer is not a professional writer, nor are they being paid for their efforts, so who exactly is producing zines and why? The basic appeal of creating these home-made ‘magazines’ is easy to see – the opportunity to write whatever you want and tap into a willing audience, with no restrictions. The drawbacks are just as obvious – the time it takes to produce the zine as well as the costs involved. Many zine writers barely break even on their expenses.” (Spencer;11)

“When I first began to investigate the origins of the DIY ethic, I found that similar ways of working and familiar styles echo throughout different communities, repeating themselves over and over. The lo-fi approach appears in many forms: music, visual art, film, craft, writing, political activism, social protest. However, this book concentrates on underground movements where DIY and lo-fi ideals are translated into words and music: two fundamental areas where DIY culture has always had a long history and continues to flourish.” (Spencer;7)

“In his book Wertham explains that: ‘Zines give a voice to the everyday anonymous person. The basic idea is that someone sits down, writes, collects, draws or edits a bunch of stuff they are interested in or care deeply about, photocopies or prints up some copies of it and distributes it. The zine creating process is a direct one, remaining under the writer’s control at all times. Perhaps its outstanding facet is that it exists without any outside interference, without any control from above, without any censorship, without any supervision or manipulation. This is no mere formal matter; it goes to the heart of what fanzines are.’” (Spencer;11)

“The zine is viewed differently from a commercial product. It resembles a gift more than a product, as it typically bypasses the profit motive. The flow of zines, and the personal network that has developed around them, resembles human contact. The zine is passed physically through the network connecting people together, sharing the sense of solidarity in their interest in the underground of independent culture.” (Spencer;14)

“As many zines document what is going on in a particular scene and with their origins as ‘fanzines’ being produced by self-proclaimed fans, the identity of the zine-maker can be problematic. Many may not want to be restricted to this role of fan. Particularly in the music scene, they may not want those who are producing the culture that they are writing about to view them simply as consumers who then rave about them in print.” (Spencer;14) 

“Working away from a corporate culture, which divides the population into carefully researched demographics, zine writers form their own networks around their identities. Many writers create their zines as a conscious reaction against a consumerist society. They adopt the DIY principle that you should create your own cultural experience. It is this message that they pass on to their readers – that you can create your own space. Unlike the message of mass media, which is to encourage people to consume, the zine encourages people to take part and produce something for themselves.” (Spencer;16)

“In his documentation of zine culture in Notes from Underground Zines and The Politics of Alternative Culture, Steve Duncombe claims: ‘They [zine writers] celebrate the everyperson in a world of celebrity, losers in a society that rewards the best and brightest.’3 It is this definition that best describes the position of the zine writers.” (Spencer:2016;16)

“As the historical development of the zine illustrates, the format can be used for any imaginable subject, and some of the most popular are those which defy classification. In some instances, before they begin writing the editors know nothing of the zine tradition and are simply inventing their own suitable format; thus creating almost by accident a publication that is recognized as a zine. These are often the best, these most cryptic and offbeat of zine offerings, giving an irreverent and truly individual perspective on the world from the writer’s point of view.” (Spencer:2016;21)

“With zines being relatively easy to produce, it is evident that people will risk publishing almost anything. As they are radically different from the commercial magazine and don’t face the same pressure to be commercially viable, and as there are no demographics, no markets, no profit and loss margins and no financial need to attract a large readership, writers don’t feel they have to be too cautious in terms of what they print. Zines celebrate the idea that you can print anything and at least one other person will want to read it.” (Spencer:2016;21)

“These ideas found their way to the audience of both Hanna and Wolfe’s bands and the scene began to gain momentum. Here women redefined feminism for the 90s and recognized each other as manufacturers of culture as opposed to participants in a culture that they were forced to accept. They were encouraged to reclaim the media and produce their own cultural forms. As well as by forming bands, one of the primary means for them to produce their own cultural experience was by producing zines. This process allowed them to assert their independence while at the same time calling for others to join them. The zines that they produced were unique in that they focused on the experiences of young girls who spoke frankly about their experiences.” (Spencer;74)

The 1930s sci-fi zine, the dada art zine, the chapbook created by beat writers in the 1950s, small-scale radical magazines of the 1960s, punk zines of the 1970s, the zine explosion of the 1990s, online blogs and guerilla newsreporting of today all started with individuals sharing a similar DIY ethos: the urge to create a new cultural form and transmit it to others on your own terms.

“The DIY vision has become central to the underground music scene also, with the lo-fi ideals of skiffle groups in the 1950s, the punks of the 1970s, post-punk and the 80s indie scene enduring to the present day. Subverting the term ‘hi-fi’, ‘lo-fi’ music refers to a musical style in opposition to high production values. Encompassing an ideology that has been both championed and ridiculed over the decades, for some, this is the only way they are willing to make music, to others it represents an annoyingly shambolic, amateur style. It is, however, this celebration of the amateur that is at the heart of DIY scene in both music and literature – a celebration that continues today.” (Spencer;8)

“Zines give a voice to the everyday anonymous person. The basic idea is that someone sits down, writes, collects, draws or edits a bunch of stuff they are interested in or care deeply about, photocopies or prints up some copies of it and distributes it. The zine creating process is a direct one, remaining under the writer’s control at all times. Perhaps its outstanding facet is that it exists without any outside interference, without any control from above, without any censorship, without any supervision or manipulation. This is no mere formal matter; it goes to the heart of what fanzines are.’” (Spencer;12)

 

“Although very different from any other zine printed before or since, The Duplex Planet has had a great following: achieving high numbers of readers and notoriety in the zine world. It has spawned a comic book series published by Fantagraphics, an anthology, entitled Duplex Planet: Everybody’s Asking Who I Was,published by Faber and Faber, spoken word recordings, theatrical presentations and a series of concerts recorded for New York Public Radio. The residents themselves have become known outside of the nursing home. The often eccentric poetry of one resident, Ernest Noyes Brookings, has been worked into the lyrics of many bands. Michael Stipe of REM was a subscriber and asked another resident, Ed Rogers, to design the lettering for one of their albums. Other residents have contributed to an exhibition of drawings and sculpture.” (Spencer:2016;27)

 

“In the late 1940s, a group of young writers began to think about self-publishing as a way to distribute their own writing. These writers became known as the ‘beats’ – men and women who, in an increasingly conservative post-war America, decided that their only option was to reject society and write. Their successes are widely known, Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl are cult classics; however, it is less well known that these authors did not simply write but also published and promoted their own work.

Beat writers are often romanticized and considered cultural icons for being rebellious individuals. However, it wasn’t just the lifestyles they pioneered or the literary talents they displayed that made them different, it was the way they adopted the idea of self-promotion through independent methods of publication. This interest in self-publishing developed more through necessity than choice. As their writing often did not mirror the literary or political views of established magazines or publishers, finding anyone to print their work proved to be difficult. Poet Gary Snyder, for example, found that his poems were continually rejected from Poetry Magazine.” (Spencer:2016;163)


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Destacado: I was excited by the thought that you could use the resources available to you – a piece of paper, a battered guitar, a cheap tape-recorder – to cross the boundary between who consumes and who creates. It was empowering to realize that anyone, however amateur, could produce something which would be valued as a finished product. In a society where the publishing and music industries are shaped by profit-margins, what is radical about the participants of this scene is that they simply want to exchange information about the bands, gigs, zines etc they have found exciting


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Destacado: Kathleen Hanna’s


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Destacado: fundamental part of their identity, there was no reason why they shouldn’t also want to record this new experience. This followed a growing trend of discussing alternative parenting, which began in the 1960s and 70s. The counterculture of this era affected parenting values and many people were looking for a way to bring up their children that worked alongside their social and political beliefs. In 1990, a young single mother of a two year old daughter started her zine The Future Generation.


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Destacado: although often carrying negative connotations, is derived from the Latin word for ‘lover’. These little known origins remind us that the amateur approach can be a more personal form of communication and does not have to be equated with sloppiness, an unprofessional production or a lack of talen


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Destacado: Notes from Underground Zines and The Politics of Alternative Culture, Steve Duncombe claims: ‘They [zine writers] celebrate the everyperson in a world of celebrity, losers in a society that rewards the best and brightest.’3 It is this definition that best describes the position of the zine writers.


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Destacado: Why do you think there was a need for a queer community away from the mainstream gay culture?


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Destacado: Zine Feminism


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Destacado: Was JDs a conscious reaction against the punk and hardcore scene? ‘JDs was a conscious response, as opposed to an unconscious reaction, to the punk and hardcore scene but bear in mind that those scenes weren’t taken particularly seriously. Our goal, vis-à-vis the punk scene, was to antagonize.’


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Destacado: LaBruce explains their position, ‘We weren’t so much trying to build a community as create the illusion that there was already a fully


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Destacado: Unlike the message of mass media, which is to encourage people to consume, the zine encourages people to take part and produce something for themselves


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Destacado: Michal Cupid, an independent promoter from Bristol, explains that members of the DIY underground aren’t, ‘fixated with the promise of money, they are people who want to do something just to see it happen


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Destacado: How important are zines as a means of communication within the queercore scene? ‘Zines were, obviously, a significant instigating factor in the formation of many movements and subcultures, from the dadaists of the 1930s, to the punks and on up to the queercore scene. It’s been an important first step, resulting in performances happening and bands forming, along with films and videos and other means of communication necessary for a movement’s materialization.


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Destacado: When I first began to investigate the origins of the DIY ethic, I found that similar ways of working and familiar styles echo throughout different communities, repeating themselves over and over. The lo-fi approach appears in many forms: music, visual art, film, craft, writing, political activism, social protest. However, this book concentrates on underground movements where DIY and lo-fi ideals are translated into words and music: two fundamental areas where DIY culture has always had a long history and continues to flourish.


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Destacado: Other bands did not see the act of releasing their own records as a step on the way to signing to an established label. To them, it was the one and only way to release music.


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Destacado: These ideas found their way to the audience of both Hanna and Wolfe’s bands and the scene began to gain momentum. Here women redefined feminism for the 90s and recognized each other as manufacturers of culture as opposed to participants in a culture that they were forced to accept. They were encouraged to reclaim the media and produce their own cultural forms. As well as by forming bands, one of the primary means for them to produce their own cultural experience was by producing zines. This process allowed them to assert their independence while at the same time calling for others to join them. The zines that they produced were unique in that they focused on the experiences of young girls who spoke frankly about their experiences.


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Destacado: How important is the DIY ethic in queercore? ‘An important aspect of creating your own culture is the ability to do it yourself. The means of self-representation are in your control, free from censorship and misrepresentation. It’s an important step in developing one’s aesthetic which is something few people seem willing or able to do these days.’


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Destacado: These pioneers started a new phase in broadcasting. People no longer needed specialist audio equipment, they just needed a computer and some software. This has meant that almost anyone can become a desktop broadcaster. Radio has moved away from being corporately controlled, you can set up a web station with little money and need have no advertisers or promoters to answer to. No wonder so many thousands of people are now broadcasting their own stations over the internet. Some will just broadcast one show and others with achieve longevity but all are contributing to the history of independent radio – that DIY approach which has long been a rebellious part of broadcasting hist


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Destacado: Zines were now vital in spreading the ethos to new audiences. The bands provided the soundtrack to the scene and zines was the means of sustaining the unique social networks that develope


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Destacado: beat writers in the 1950s, small-scale radical magazines of the 1960s, punk zines of the 1970s, the zine explosion of the 1990s, online blogs and guerilla newsreporting of today all started with individuals sharing a similar DIY ethos:


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Destacado: On becoming a young mother, she felt isolated. She explains, ‘I was in new territory and felt a total minority group. Most punks weren’t parents and most parents weren’t punks. I felt I was in the middle of a revolution – so many things were changing from the way I had seen when I was growing up. Ways of acting, thinking, and living. Ways of approaching


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Destacado: A crucial element of the independent scene has always been to radically transform the relations of production. In terms of music, this was to break down the dependence of bands on record labels. This did not just involve establishing new record labels but also distributors, publishers, retailers and promoters –


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Destacado: The 1930s sci-fi zine, the dada art zine, the chapbook


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Destacado: parent I was in the total minority. I was never in the beginning of punk but so many people talk about how in the beginning you could identify others by simply looking at them: it was an “us against the world” mode (for better or worse) at some point; when I became a mom I felt like that, if I saw anyone different, let’s say sitting on the curb breastfeeding their child, I was like, “Hey, let’s be friends!” or at least “How is it going with you?”’15 She was looking for a sense of community. ‘I was writing to try to build community – to find a few other people even – that was the whole point,


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Destacado: They were directly challenging their audience to do-it-themselves, there was no sense of superiority or exclusivity. The Desperate Bicycles wanted others to follow their lead. Firmly rooted in London’s independent culture, their 1978 EP, ‘New Cross New Cross,’


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Destacado: Zines are non-commercial, small-circulation publications which are produced and distributed by their creators. Generally the zine writer is not a professional writer, nor are they being paid for their efforts, so who exactly is producing zines and why? The basic appeal of creating these home-made ‘magazines’ is easy to see – the opportunity to write whatever you want and tap into a willing audience, with no restrictio


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Destacado: Smith explores her motives for starting the magazine, ‘I wanted to encourage women to write and draw and perform because (particularly ten years ago, but even now), women tend to be more reluctant than men to push their work out to an audience. GirlFrenzy pre-dated riot grrrl, and things have changed a lot since then.’14 Her aims were clear, and mirrored the ambition of riot grrrl zines – to encourage women to begin to publish their own work. These


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Destacado: Zines give a voice to the everyday anonymous person. The basic idea is that someone sits down, writes, collects, draws or edits a bunch of stuff they are interested in or care deeply about, photocopies or prints up some copies of it and distributes it. The zine creating process is a direct one, remaining under the writer’s control at all times. Perhaps its outstanding facet is that it exists without any outside interference, without any control from above, without any censorship, without any supervision or manipulation. This is no mere formal matter; it goes to the heart of what fanzines are.’


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Destacado: Everything about these self-released records was lo-fi: from the photocopied paper sleeves and rubber-stamped label to the cheapest pressing they could find. The aim was to produce the record for as little money as possible, to make it accessible to their audience. They were created with wild enthusiasm, as


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Destacado: He tried to find out why people were publishing their own zines when they could instead be reading the mainstream commercial magazines. Instead of criticizing their work, he became intrigued by the fanzine founders – by their lack of commercial motivation and their celebration of the amateur writer.


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Destacado: The practice of bands offering their own music for download follows long established DIY principles. This is the most immediate form of distribution. Musicians can record a song and then almost immediately make it available for others to listen to. This bypasses the manufacturing stage completely, with music flowing digitally from musician to audienc


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Destacado: British zines such as Ablaze, written by Karen Ablaze, and Erica Smith’s Girlfrenzy were linked to this new wave of riot grrrl zines as they drew strength from what was happening in America.


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Destacado: Total freedom for the musician only comes with artist-driven, independent record labels. Often these labels are run by artists themselves, who release their own music and distribute it via networks where they do not have to compromise their ideals. After the first wave of punk, by the late 70s, many performers realized that the idea of starting their own record labels needn’t be intimidating. Punk challenged its audience to create their own music for themselves. Many decided that they needed to go one stage further and release their own records. To them, it was not enough to just sing about rebellion and distance themselves from mainstream culture, they wanted to actually do these things.


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Destacado: for some, this is the only way they are willing to make music, to others it represents an annoyingly shambolic, amateur style. It is, however, this celebration of the amateur that is at the heart of DIY scene in both music and literature – a celebration that continues today


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Destacado: New Feminists Towards the end of the 90s, the third wave of feminists began to truly find their voices through the riot grrrl movement. As the movement grew in strength and the potential for a large audience was realized, zines began to broaden their scale.


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Destacado: Rave Culture In Britain


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Destacado: promoted the maxims of anti-elitism and, with new technology, they are truer than ever


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Destacado: This was lo-fi, the very act of production and distribution being considered more important than the quality.


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Destacado: It was this live experience that made punk what it was. The experience of people with similar attitudes gathering together was a vital element of the scene, as was the sense of impatience that drove it – young punks wanted everything to be instan


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Destacado: What impact do you think the internet has had or will have on zines and magazines? ‘It’s made it much easier to find out about them, and to connect with other people making them. It is easier to make a zine now because you can do it online if that’s easier for you, or you can get access to advice and info about making a print zine. People thought that the internet was going to herald the death of print, which was a crock even in the boom days. The feeling of a printed document is never going to lose its appeal or be replaced by an electronic alternative.’


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Destacado: What do you see to be the limitations of zines – either in paper form or on the internet? Do they exclude anyone? ‘The internet obviously has higher barriers to entry (for both readers and makers), but once you have internet access and a computer, then it’s cheaper and easier to make or read something online than in print. But both take resources, no doubt about that. For me, part of the beauty of print is that anyone with five dollars can just walk into the


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Destacado: the lo-fi ideals of skiffle groups in the 1950s, the punks of the 1970s, post-punk and the 80s indie scene enduring to the present day. Subverting the term ‘hi-fi’, ‘lo-fi’ music refers to a musical style in opposition to high production value


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Destacado: The demystification of the industry had begun; there was no big secret, the process of releasing records wasn’t difficult to understand or achieve. The increase in affordable technology at this time meant that such activities were no longer so far out of reach, and countless people took this opportunity. Crass were one such 70s punk band who soon began releasing their own record

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